Race Week: Runners in Their Own Words [Part 1 of 5]

The Half Moon Bay International Marathon is this weekend, Sept. 28-29. Here are stories by two of the runners and their personal reasons for participating in this annual Coastside event.

Half Moon Bay is currently in "Race Week"  with only five more days to go before the Half Moon Bay International Marathon welcomes 1,200 runners from 39 states and six countries, set to run 26.2 miles starting from Pillar Point Harbor along the Pacific coastline.

For the next few days leading up to race day on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, Half Moon Bay Patch will feature stories in the runner’s own words about why they are participating in the race. Some of their stories are quite emotional and insightful and will inspire you and maybe even bring tears to your eyes.

Here are the stories of Linda McLean and Josh Holian.

Linda McLean

I ran my first marathon at age 49. I was always someone's wife, someone's daughter, someone's mother. I lost my self. I found that when I run I am me again. I heard about the Half Moon Bay Marathon while I was at Bug Sur. The thought of running a marathon without miles of hills intrigued me. I can get "me" again while running in a nearby town. I looked at the photos of prior runs, and I can't wait to lace up. Half Moon Bay is gorgeous.

Josh Holian 

In January I turned 40. In February I started running. I live four miles from my office, and after much consideration I finally decided that four miles wasn't all that far, so I ran it in, slowly and self-consciously. I had never run that far in my life. I ran early in the morning so no one would see me. I felt clumsy and unsure. I kept at it. I hurt myself, I got better. I started talking about running with my friends. I started looking for longer routes to the offce, buying t-shirts with technical fabrics in them. In May I ran Bay to Breakers. I liked it and started thinking maybe I could go longer. I signed up for this half-marathon. I felt slow. I worked on my form, my breathing. I pushed up my mileage, my knees and ankles pushed back, we worked out a compromise. I lost weight, I changed my diet, I bought a fuel belt, I bought energy chews. I ran a 15-mile training run. I ached. I ran a neighborhood 5K. I felt stronger. On my last long run heading into my taper, I ran with joy. So that is why I'm running this race: I'm running because somewhere along the way, for some reason I don't quite yet understand, I decided that I could, and I should, and I would.

Race Weekend Events

The Half Moon Bay International Marathon will include a full 26.2 marathon event, a 13.1 mile half marathon event, and a FREE 5k Fun-Run.

Saturday, Sept. 28

·       12 p.m.-12:30 p.m. - Runner's World's Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso (and author of the famous Yasso 800s training workout) will speak about his passion of running and how to achieve your goals. 

·       12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m., Bart will be available for photos and book signings. 

·       1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Eric Vaughan, Executive Director of the HMBIM will discuss the course, signage, aid stations and other last minute tips. 

·       2 p.m. - 4 mile fun run (run as much as you want) on the HMBIM Course with Bart Yasso, starting from the HMBIM Start/Finish Line.

Sunday, Sept. 29

Three events are planned for race day including a full and half marathon distance and a free 5K fun run. The Full and Half distances are run on a mixture of paved coastal trails, local streets and some hard-packed dirt trails, while the 10k and 5k are entirely on paved trails. The trail portions of the course offer some of the most spectacular vistas of the entire course. The Start/Finish Line of the 2013 HMBIM is at EQ Fitness HMB (formerly known as Coastal Lifestyles), 371 Princeton Avenue, Half Moon Bay.

·       Full Marathon: 7 a.m.

·       Half Marathon first wave start: 7:30 a.m.

·       Just Run 5K: 7:45 a.m.

After Party at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company

Steps away for the Start/Finish Line, the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is hosting an amazing party all day, starting with breakfast in the morning for spectators and early finishers, followed by lunch, and a special HMBIM Beer! Come grab some food and drink, and enjoy the festivities featuring live entertainment and outdoor seating near the finish line. Get tickets by clicking here

All of the above events are open to the public. Marathon organizers still need volunteers. Click here for more information — you'll have a chance to win one of several prizes, get a free shirt, and be a part of the amazing community event.


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